In 2021, 7,356 northeastern Pennsylvania jobs were created or retained as a result of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP_NEPA) work. BFTP_NEPA generated cumulative impacts of 76,956 job creations or retentions since the program’s inception in 1983.
“Ben Franklin clients are an important part of the resilience northeastern Pennsylvania is exhibiting in the face of the pandemic,” said Angelo J. Valletta, President and Chief Executive Officer of BFTP_NEPA. “I commend and congratulate our clients, all of which are working to create and retain highly paid, sustainable jobs that will continue to drive economic prosperity.”
According to an independent study conducted by the Pennsylvania Economy League, Pennsylvania’s investment in Ben Franklin statewide represents a $3.90 payback to the state treasury for every dollar invested. The jobs created by Ben Franklin clients are in industries that pay 52% more than the average Pennsylvania non-farm wage. Since beginning operations in 1983, BFTP_NEPA has typically been among the top 5% of the most active investors in the U.S.
Client companies raised an additional $1.7 billion in follow-on funding from angel investors, venture capitalists, and other investors in 2021, for a total of $59.2 billion in follow-on investment received since 2007. These results were accomplished in BFTP_NEPA’s 21-county service area, including Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.
BFTP client companies submit statistics on created and retained jobs, new product and process developments, and follow-on funding to BFTP_NEPA each year. Ben Franklin reports its annual impacts to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, which funds the statewide Ben Franklin program.
BFTP_NEPA is part of a four-center, state-funded economic development initiative. In his 2022-23 General Fund budget, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed at least $22 million for the statewide Ben Franklin Technology Partners network, which results in a $2 million increase for each of the four regionally based Ben Franklin centers.
“This increase is critical to getting us back to where our funding was,” said Valletta. “It enables us to make the investments needed to support growth and provide the services companies need to succeed.”
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania links clients with universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. BFTP_NEPA’s strategy encompasses three key areas:
- developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies;
- supporting established manufacturers as they creatively apply new technology to help them compete globally;
- promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.
Ben Franklin is headquartered in, owns, and manages Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning technology business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus in Bethlehem. BFTP/NEP also owns and manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center. Both incubators are members of the BFTP_NEPA-led, 14-member Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network. This network is among the largest in the United States.
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania reported the following 2021 results:
Created 952 New Jobs
Retained 6,404 Existing Jobs
Started 4 New Companies
Developed 160 New Products and Processes
BFTP_NEPA was established in 1983 and has achieved the following cumulative results:
Created 20,688 New Jobs
Retained 56,268 Existing Jobs
Started 535 New Companies
Developed 2,456 New Products and Processes
In 2021, BFTP_NEPA assisted 387 companies. Since 2007, the organization has supported 4,500 client firms.